The Mankato Marathon 10K race course is by far my favorite 10K I have ever run. It’s a beautiful run through town with a descent down Stoltzman Road. Here are some quick tips for the 10K:
•Drive the route beforehand so there are no surprises.
•Write your name on your bib. Hey, no shame in spectators cheering your name. I loved hearing “Go Kate!” from complete strangers.
•Find a friend. I had a friend that had never done a 10K run with me. Besides enjoying the company during the race, I had another support person and someone to share the moment with.
•Be confident. Don’t be afraid to speed up the last couple miles if you’re feeling good.
•Enjoy the race! Stop stressing—this is a great race and the perfect distance!
I ran my first half marathon the inaugural year of the Mankato Marathon. I had a plan, and I was ready to go. But as plans go, I learned that even with all the training and all the planning, being flexible on race day is important.
My plan consisted of getting up the morning of the half marathon with my husband, Dr. Chaun Cox of Mayo Clinic Health System, who was planning to run the full marathon. I was planning on having a nice protein/carb breakfast. Then, he would get the sitter for the kids, help me figure out last-minute race stuff, help get my chip on my shoes and give me the words of encouragement I needed.
What I didn’t plan for was Chaun being paged to the hospital for a delivery two hours before the race started.
That race-day morning left me with having to wake two sleeping kids to put them in the car to get the sitter, grabbing random things I thought I needed for the race, having my kids eat my awesome carb/protein breakfast while I was reading the instructions of where to put the chip on my shoe, and having to drive to the start line alone.
I was scared, nervous and flustered. But I also knew that I needed to trust myself and trust in my training. I needed to be gracious I had a babysitter for the next several hours, which game me some serious “me time.” I also reminded myself that I needed to celebrate I was going to be running that morning when so many others are not able to run because of injuries, health or barriers in their life.
Reflecting on these simple things on my drive to the start line made me refocus on my race and my personal journey. I was going to run a half marathon and I was going to finish! I lined up with all the half marathon/marathon runners and I was shaking from the cold air, nervousness and excitement.
I was just finishing the national anthem with all the other runners when I felt my hand being squeezed. There was Chaun standing next to me with just the right words to say as the gun went off. “Baby was delivered. Mother and baby are doing well. You got this. See you at the finish line. Love you, baby.”
Chaun finished the marathon that day in three hours and five minutes, and I finished my first half marathon before he finished his full. There were tears at the finish line and a range of emotions: gratitude, appreciation and celebration. Think of where you are and how far you’ve come.
Remember, even if things don’t go exactly as planned…you’ve got this. See you at the finish line.
About the author:
Kate Cox is a licensed social worker with Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato. Kate has run two Mankato Marathons, two half marathons and one 10K. This year, she will be running the Mankato Half Marathon or the 10K.
For more information, visit mayoclinichealthsystem.org.